The last time we let the legs stretch on our SAPPHIRE Radeon R9 290X Tri-X GPUs in CrossFire was when we tested them at 4K. Well, that was when we had our old LGA 1150 setup, but now we have a flashy new, super high-end LGA 2011 setup and we're going to run them through their paces, again.
The system in question has been provided by many of our closest partners in SanDisk, SAPPHIRE, Corsair, InWin and ASUS. Without them, this couldn't of been possible. The specs:
- CPU: Intel Core i7 4930K processor w/Corsair H110i cooler @ 4.5GHz
- Motherboard: ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition
- GPUs: SAPPHIRE Radeon R9 290X Tri-X (2x)
- RAM: 32GB Corsair Vengeance Pro (2 x 16GB kits) of 2400MHz DDR3
- Storage: 240GB SanDisk Extreme II and 480GB SanDisk Extreme II
- Chassis: InWin X-Frame Limited Edition
- PSU: Corsair AX1200i digital PSU
- Software: Windows 7 Ultimate x64
We are running all of these tests at stock GPU clocks for now, but with our Core i7-4930K at 4.5GHz to remove any CPU bottlenecks at 4K with CrossFire. We will run these tests again soon with overclocked GPUs to see if we can squeeze anymore performance out of the Hawaii-based cards.
For now, let's start with our benchmarks.
DiRT: Showdown started off our new setup, where we see a minimum frame rate of 46.3FPS, and an average just shy of 60FPS at 57.4FPS. Some great results, especially with some high minimum frame rates.
When it comes to enabling the second Radeon R9 290X, we see virtually 100% more frame rates. We move from 46.3FPS on the single GPU to 82.4FPS when CrossFire is enabled. When it comes to average frame rates, we see the same massive performance increase.
We see an average of 100.6FPS with R9 290X Tri-X GPUs in CrossFire, up from the 57.4FPS on the single GPU. Some impressive results at 3840x2160, or 4K.
The massive performance continues with BioShock: Infinite, where we see some lackluster results on the single R9 290X with a minimum of 14.3FPS and an average of 30.1FPS. But things change when CrossFire is enabled.
The second R9 290X Tri-X GPU didn't do much to our minimum frame rates, increasing to 16.8FPS from 14.3FPS. But when it comes to the average frame rates, we see it blast right up to 58.7FPS, which is up from 30.1FPS. Averaging nearly 60FPS at 4K with BioShock: Infinite is definitely something you cannot complain about.
Sleeping Dogs was another game where the second GPU definitely helped, but starting with the single card results we have a minimum of 13.6FPS and an average of 19.7FPS.
Enabling the second Hawaii-based GPU provided us with some great scaling, with the minimum FPS at 4K hitting 23.6FPS, while the average was 39.6FPS.
Metro: Last Light:
Metro: Last Light is quite funny with minimum frame rates, where the single GPU resulted in 7.9FPS and an average of 13.6FPS. CrossFire on the other hand, wasn't so nice on minimum FPS, but much better with average frame rates.
With a result of 5.5FPS for minimum, we're not impressed - this is down from 7.9FPS on the single card. Turning on the second card really ramps up the average frame rate, where we jump from 13.6FPS to 23.3FPS.
Another game where AMD excels in, Tomb Raider. With the single SAPPHIRE Radeon R9 290X Tri-X GPU, we have 23.3FPS and 28.9FPS for minimum and average frame rates. Not bad, but not great.
Turning on the second GPU sees close to 100% scaling, where we have 45.3FPS minimum and 55.6FPS average.
Thief is our latest game to be added to the benchmarking lineup, where it replaces Hitman: Absolution. We had some interesting results to share for our first time benchmarking Thief, too. A minimum of 15.6FPS and an average of 26.4FPS.
Enabling CrossFire though, doubled those results. We see a minimum of 32.9FPS, over 100% scaling with CrossFire, and 49.8FPS as an average - just under 100% scaling. But those minimum frame rates are very surprising, something I'm interested in seeing how it evolves with our testing.
Running our SAPPHIRE Radeon R9 290X Tri-X GPUs in CrossFire on our new LGA 2011-based setup was a great experience. We had some great performance over our GPUs, while having a true future proof CPU with 12 threads - oh, and that 32GB of RAM doesn't hurt, either.
With the CrossFire setup, we were able to enjoy an average of 30FPS or more in all of games except one - Metro: Last Light. With the details turned down a notch or two, Metro: Last Light would become much more playable.
Next up, taking a look at LGA 1150 vs. LGA 2011 with the same GPUs.